A witness from God can be relied upon. As you read our thoughts, beliefs, and experiences, we invite you to obtain a witness for yourself. If something we say or imply does not ring true, then you should feel no obligation to accept it. Life is an individual and unique journey with God. Although we can help and encourage each other, we need to be careful not to come between God and another person.


Sunday, August 20, 2017

Women's Council July 31, 2017

I am responsible for starting the investigation that led to a women's council on July 31, 2017, for a man. Because of gossip, rumors, and false reports, I feel imposed upon to tell the story from my perspective.

In the Doctrine of Christ 2016 Boise Conference, Denver said,

“In the tenth talk, given in Phoenix two years ago, you were warned about false spirits, as happened in Kirtland, which you were warned would come among us. That warning has proven true. False spirits have mislead some into foolish errors. I am astonished at vain, foolish and prideful ideas that are anti-Christ, degrading and dark, but have been welcomed by some. Remember Pharaoh’s magicians also enchanted their rods to become snakes (Exo. 7:11-12), and conjured frogs to mimic the sign given by God through Moses and Aaron (Exo. 8:7.) Pharaoh’s heart was hardened by these imitations. Do not let yours become so likewise.

“For two years I have watched, attended some of your meetings, gathered reports, and tried to let you stand and display your strength and understanding. Even God left Adam and Eve in the Garden, and allowed Lucifer the common enemy to tempt and try them, promising to return again to visit them. They transgressed His commandment, and He provided the means to cover their shame, repent and return. He also promised to later send messengers. But God did not “babysit” Adam and Eve, informing them that it was given unto them to choose, even when He forbids something. God is the same now as in the beginning. We are all required to display our understanding, obedience and prove our strength.

“People have come among you preaching falsehoods, and inviting others to follow false spirits: Adulterers and adulteresses who justify sins, and mock the commandment “thou shalt not commit adultery.” (Exo. 20:14.) False claimants are pretending to seal others up to eternal life, changing the ordinances and introducing foolish and vain ideas borrowed from pagans and heathen, who do not know Christ nor His righteousness. I do not oppose them directly by debate or counter-argument. I declare the truth and leave it for everyone to decide between clearly opposing teachings. If people cannot discern, then they will need to learn from sad experience to choose between good and evil, perhaps only coming to understand after their destruction in this world.

“There are those who use well-reasoned arguments to expound their understanding of scripture who have declared with certainty it is impossible for what I say to be true. These voices come from both the fearful anonymous and proud academics. I do not respond to either.

“In a letter on August 24, 1834, Joseph Smith described the only way falsehoods could be avoided. The responsibility rests—then and now—on believers. He wrote, “If the Saints are very humble, very watchful and very prayerful, that few will not be deceived by those who have not authority to teach, or who have not the Spirit to teach according to the power of the Holy Ghost, in the scriptures.” (JS Papers, Documents Vol. 4, p. 117.)

“Only the truth is at issue. Individuals other than Christ do not matter. The message I have and do preach is from the Lord. His sheep hear His voice. If they accept it as His, then deceivers, false spirits and men’s learning are powerless to destroy faith in Him. He promised He “will take care of our flocks” (D&C 88:72) and therefore it will be Him, and not me, who will keep His flock shepherded.” (Denver Snuffer – Doctrine of Christ Conference Boise 2016)

A man's worthiness to function in performing priesthood ordinances was called into question, and so a council of women was called to deal with the question. It says in Preserving the Restoration page 511-512, “If a man's worthiness to function is called into question, then a conference can be convened to deal with the question. In removing authority, at least two witnesses should speak against the accused, and he should be allowed to speak on his behalf and call such witnesses as he chooses. Men can be witnesses, but only women are allowed to vote. Removal should be by unanimous vote of the women present, with at least 12 votes against a man to end his authority to act in the fellowship community. As for his family, he is free to do as he chooses, but he cannot act in the community until restored by the vote of a conference of that community.”

As a council we voted to keep the man's identity confidential as we feel repentance and forgiveness is a private matter. After hearing testimonies of witnesses, it was made clear that we needed to act that we may know the truth, that we may chase darkness from among us.

It was on May 11, 2017 I learned about teachings and practices that are alarming. I have spent the last three months talking to witnesses and gathering information. There are more witnesses than the ones who spoke before the council. It has taken time for the witnesses who have testified to gather the courage to share their story before a women's council. When we had a sufficient number of witnesses, two primary witnesses and five secondary witnesses testified before the council of their involvement with this man.

I do not feel the necessity to rehearse all the details presented to the council. But after hearing testimonies for almost six hours and deliberating for many more hours, a council of fifteen women reached a unanimous decision to remove the sustaining vote for a man to perform public priesthood ordinances. This is the letter written by the women's council sent from my email July 31, 2017, 11:56 p.m.

Dear ____,

After prayerful consideration of all the facts and testimonies from the witnesses and yourself, the council of fifteen women has voted unanimously to rescind your authority to use priesthood outside your family on the grounds of priestcraft. Further details will be provided.

When you desire reinstatement of your authority, it must be considered by the same council of at least twelve of the fifteen women, and requires seven of the twelve to agree upon your reinstatement, which can occur at any time. We pray for your reinstatement.

During this period of suspension, nothing affects your duties and responsibilities within your own family.

With wisdom and love,

. . .

To all those who are tempted to judge and point an accusing finger, I ask you to look at your own weakness and know that all of our weakness should and will come into the light. Treat others as you want to be treated in your weakness.

In the Book of Mormon we see an example of true repentance.

And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward, to teach the people, and those who were with Alma at the time the angel appeared unto them: travelling round about through all the land, publishing to all the people the things which they had heard and seen, and preaching the word of God in much tribulation, being greatly persecuted by those who were unbelievers, being smitten by many of them; but notwithstanding all this, they did impart much consolation to the church, confirming their faith, and exhorting them with long suffering and much travail, to keep the commandments of God. And four of them were the sons of Mosiah; and their names were Ammon, and Aaron, and Omner, and Himni; these were the names of the sons of Mosiah. And they travelled throughout all the land of Zarahemla, and among all the people who were under the reign of king Mosiah, zealously striving to repair all the injuries which they had done to the church: confessing all their sins, and publishing all the things which they had seen, and explaining the prophecies and the scriptures to all who desired to hear them; and thus they were instruments in the hands of God, in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer. And how blessed are they! For they did publish peace; they did publish good tidings of good; and they did declare unto the people that the Lord reigneth.

Alma and the Sons of Mosiah were not afraid of confessing all their sins throughout all the land. We do not think less of them because they made mistakes. We all make mistakes, but Jesus tells us to become as a little child. Little children are open and transparent, but as they grow older, they are taught by satan, “Quick! Hide!” Alma and the Sons of Mosiah repentance was real, and they have become some of our greatest Book of Mormon heroes.

With Love and Concern,

Jennifer Willis